1918 – 100 YEARS AGO
This morning at the North Western station the loading platform of the express company resembled a large poultry yard in noise and appearance, due to the large number of coops of ducks and chickens being shipped to Chicago. Many of the coops of birds came in on the Spring Valley train and the transfer held the Sterling passenger here for several minutes. It was one of the largest shipments of poultry that has been sent from here for some time past.
John Collins, riding his pony, started for home yesterday afternoon, and as he left the Hanrahan barn on Fourth street, he fell from the animal, striking the pavement with considerable force. He was picked up and carried into the office of the livery barn and in a short time had recovered from the shock and was on his way home again.
All members of the Home Guards are ordered to report on Locust street in front of the Armory at 7:15 o’clock this evening for drill. All members of the company who have not been granted leave are expected to be present.
Interior work on the new home of the Knights of Columbus is now going on, as the front of the building has been boarded up to keep curious people from interrupting workmen employed there. All efforts are now being made to get the building ready for occupancy at the earliest moment. The building committee apparently is very well satisfied with the work as far as it has gone, and the members are hopeful that the work may be completed when it is now planned.
Sandwich, in the south end of the county, is having its share of trouble now with influenza, and to prevent a serious epidemic there, the health authorities have placed restrictions on all public gatherings. Public gatherings were closed down there for some time, several weeks ago, and when the disease subsided, the ban was lifted, and it now has been placed to avoid any serious trouble.
Complaints in number are coming in to the police station, of young boys who are flipping automobiles down town and elsewhere. The jumping onto cars is very annoying to motorists who are not responsible if the children are hurt, and who yet would be blamed. Boys seen committing the offense hereafter will be prosecuted, says the department.
1943 – 75 YEARS AGO
Sycamore friends of Bob Doty, who has been a patient at a Rockford hospital for several days suffering with a rheumatic ailment were glad to see him return to school this week. Bob is a member of the cast of the senior class play and he was anxious to return, that rehearsals might not be delayed. The Sycamore young man is feeling much improved and his friends rust the improvement will continue.
First aid work supervised by Mrs. Knowlen was begun at the meeting of the Women’s Ambulance Safety Patrol, held Tuesday night at the Armory. It is expected this first aid program will be carried on for the next several weeks, the girls devoting two hours each Tuesday evening to instruction. After first aid has been completed and examinations taken, the patrol members then will take up other projects, as well as military drill and discipline.
DeKalb County’s 9,552 housewives could feed 2,368 soldiers for a year with the food wasted annually in homes of the county, an official of the country’s leading food distributor estimated. This amazing figure is based on accurate government statistics which indicate that at least 4,537,200 pounds of food are wasted annually in DeKalb County.
Farmers of DeKalb County are taking advantage of the unusual December weather and hundreds of acres of ground are being plowed for spring planting. It is unusual to see so many acres of plowed ground at this time of the year. Farmers say that by now, their labor problems in the spring will not be as acute as in previous years. When the early spring arrives, some of the farmers say all they will have to do is to disc the ground and it will be ready for planting.
E. E. Houghtby, manager of the War Hemp Industries, Inc., at Shabbona, announced that a total of 6,237 tons of hemp were shocked at the mill property at this time, with a value of approximately $282,555. This total tonnage of about 9,000 tons is this year’s hemp crop in the area controlled by the Shabbona mill, and was harvested from about 3,800 acres. Next year the War Hemp Industries, Inc., hope to have 5,500 acres planted to hemp for the Shabbona mill.
To add to the holiday decorations at the courthouse, which include a gaily decorated Christmas tree on the second floor, Sheriff Al Deisz completed the erection of a clever fireplace, which is attracting equally as much attention as the tree.
1968 – 50 YEARS AGO
With the corn storage areas full to the brim and some corn still in the field many area farmers are faced with the problem of where to put this year’s bumper crop. Many corn piles are seen in the DeKalb area with most of the corn crop in due to the farmers hard work and good weather.
A pagoda style, Self Service Postal Unit, under the jurisdiction of the DeKalb Post Office, is in operation on the Northern Illinois University campus. The SSPU, as they are referred to, are now being located on college campuses and other areas throughout the nation. Designed for pedestrian convenience the mall type units supply basic postal service around the clock, seven days a week.
The Wolohan Lumber Company, with general offices in Saginaw, Mich., has recently purchased the buildings, real estate and assets of DeKalb Lumber and Supply Company on Sycamore Road. The DeKalb Lumber and Supply Company will end operations on Nov. 30, 1968. The facility will be closed for remodeling and restocking during the month of December and will open as a totally new business by the Wolohan Lumber Company Jan. 6, 1969.
1993 – 25 YEARS AGO
The Franklin Mall Christmas Project was started about 40 years ago by Sandwich local residents Frank and Peg Mall, who took groceries during the holidays to families who were having what Frank called “a tough time.” They also took baskets of homemade cookies and candy, an apple and an orange to shut-ins and the elderly on Christmas Eve, with Frank dresses as Santa Claus. The program, which is directed by the Sandwich Lions Club, has grown to involve the whole community.
The DeKalb City Council approved more than $45,000 for roofing repairs at Barb City Manor. The roof repairs are the latest in several maintenance and construction projects this year.
Old Man Winter has arrived and the DeKalb Department of Public Works is standing by to clean up any mess he may leave on the city. The city is equipped with 22 vehicles and 18 personnel to tackle ice and snow removal on 215 curb miles of city streets, eight miles of alleys, 13 municipal parking lots and the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport.
• Compiled by the Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives.